Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats


IVJIXtAM  TO^   HITMBOLDT.                     SSD
been cherished, that the calm observer—especially
one who knew Prussia's condition—could foresee the
ebb which would follow the ikle. But no one could
suppose that the great movement would have siiea
insignificant fruits, and all Germany anxiously -watched
a state which had shown itself so powerful, and had
become more powerful by its new acquisitions on the
Rhine.
To effect the reconstitutlon of Prussia, the king1 had
summoned all  his ministers         councillors.     They
were divided into  several parties; the  chief of the
opposition—which consisted of the nobility, the abso-
lutists, and all those who feared to lose by the changes
in the constitution—was the Prince "Wittgenstein^ who
enjoyed, the  confidence of the king in the highest
degree.    He was at the time minister of police, but
subsequently accepted the  post  of minister to the
palace, where Ms Influence was a more secret one.
The party of progress was divided into several diffe-
rent classes^ "but all demanded a bold, liberal, energetic
government.     First there were those who3 with small
confidence  in   constitutional  arrangements,   held   in
memory the traditions of Frederic the Great, united
with those of the last war, who hated all reaction., and
considered   the   freedom  of the   press  as   the   best
guardian  of an otherwise uncontrolled government.
The chief of this section was Oneisenau.     Most of tlie
generals belonged to it, and also Begme.    lS~ext to
these men rants the no less emergetlc party of Frelhexr
von Stein.    But although its chief advanced its de-
mands impetuqpsly, those demands were In themselves
undefined and vague.    So much only is clear, that
they wished measures to be taken In accordance with
the spirit of the times, hut their own measures were
not always in accordance with this   spirit.    Gdrres
represented a decidedly constitutional party, but Ms
opinions savoured of the middle ages.   Related to the
two latter opinions in many respects, "but "with mort?
political capacities, were men such as Niebuhr, Vincke.,
and otters who were opposed to a zoanifold govern.-